Girls, let’s be honest (and guys too!). You know we have all done it. Your make up is on. Your hair is just right. You spent over an hour getting ready. The camera is aimed. Arms on hips, one knee slightly bent, and there it is. Suck in! We hold our breath and bring our mid-sections in as tight as we can. It’s the furthest thing from comfortable and it is forced and fake, but we have to look great for this picture. The night’s events will go how the photo turns out.

Our mindsets in relationships are too often the same, subconscious or not. We put our best foot forward. We dress up, look pretty, smile constantly, and metaphorically suck in. We are the best versions of ourselves. We want to woo the other person. The other person is trying to woo us back and being the best version his or herself.

In a new relationship this is a phase of euphoria. Some call it the ‘honeymoon’ phase, others call it ‘puppy love.’ Brad calls it ‘newness.’ We long for that newness to stay. It is passionate, thrilling. It gives us butterflies. We are enamored with the perfect new person we are dating. Problem with that is, you can’t suck in forever.

The second that picture is over we breathe and allow ourselves to be more comfortable. During the ‘sucking in’ phase of the relationship, we are so accommodating towards the other person’s needs and wants that they begin to grow comfortable with us, and we feel more at home with them. We can take our make up off in front of them. They don’t tidy up as much before we come around. Simple, mindless acts that we’ve hidden begin easing back in. Before you know it, you are both completely different people than the characters in the picture you thought was your relationship.

This causes issues in many relationships. Brad and I are doing very well and are at our six month mark, but we’ve already worked through some ‘sucking in’ issues. The best advice I can give is to be as open and honest as you can be from the get-go. I’m not saying you should wear sweat pants on the first date, but you shouldn’t try to hide your short comings. In the long run you want your significant other to accept you – flaws and all. Likewise, you have to stay open-minded and accept the other person in their entirety as well.

Learn each other’s love languages. Brad’s love languages are completely opposite of mine. We’ve definitely had to adjust and learn how to express our appreciation in new ways. He likes quality time and physical touch. (“Babbbbeeeeeee, scratch my back!”) He also enjoys buying me things and giving me gifts. I, on the other hand, desire words of affirmation and his undivided attention. I tend to do acts of service for him like tidying his apartment, writing notes and giving random gifts. Although quality time is a common language, we do have to put a conscious (ahem, intentional) effort  into making sure the other person knows how much we care.

Through these differences and lessons we have come out better people and are looking forward to what the future holds. We are more flexible and compassionate and patient. And really aren’t qualities like that the ones you want in a significant other? Not just gorgeous blue eyes and a pearly white smile. (Even though my boo’s got those too 😉 ) We want someone who will support us through the good and the bad, not just be a pretty face in our pictures. So stop sucking in. Be yourself. When you hit a hard patch choose to grow and mature instead of run. Just breathe!

What situations have you been in that stemmed from ‘sucking in?’ Funny stories? Wisdom learned? Share your experiences with me! Comment below or email me at

Intentionally yours,